Rail Budget 2016 is here. And while startups and businesses have been more eagerly waiting for the main budget later in February-end, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has already announced something for them.
In his budget speech, Prabhu has announced setting up Rs 50 crores for assisting startups and small businesses which are working for innovation and changes in the field of railways.
We are setting aside a sum of Rs 50 crore for providing innovation grants to employees, startups and growth-oriented small businesses to support internal and external innovation,
Railway minister Prabhu said.
Railways have set up an Innovation Committee for administering this initiative. The committee consists of reputed investors, representatives from National Academy of Indian Railways, Railway Board, and ‘Kayakalp’ headed by Ratan Tata. To manage the initiative, there will be a program management structure as well.
The initiative is a part of the annual Innovation Challenge through which ministry usually tries to find out innovative solutions to the most pressing problems of the railways.
This year, the problems which have been identified by the railways, are related to the accessibility to trains from low-level platforms; increasing capacity of coaches; and digital capabilities at stations.
To further support the innovation, the ministry has also announced to set up innovation labs in all the workshops and production units of railways in order to to support creative innovation by locals and staff.
In addition to the above, he has also announced two-month internships in the Railways for engineering and MBA students.